its top credit rating. the debt ceiling is still causing ago any. according to the fed's latest snapshot, some businesses are saying, we're not going to hire. >>> our fourth story out front. the american hostages in algeria. defense secretary, leon panetta, today, quick to call it a terrorist attack as he is traveling in europe. the interior minister says they are angry for the french offensive in mali. they attacked an oil field killing two and seizing a number of hostages. we have been working this story throughout the day. the exact number of u.s. hostages is unclear perhaps as few as three americans are being held. earlier in the day, we had heard it would be as many as seven. it is unclear if the number is wrong or some were able to escape. what are the latest reports there on the hostage situation? >> reporter: as you said, erin, we are still hearing conflicting reports about the number of hostages still being held. we are seeking confirmation from the british prime minister's office as to whether one of those hostages they have claimed to have killed was, indeed, british.